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palmOne Zire 31

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Despite the early rumours and speculative reports flying around the web, PalmOne has today officially launched two new PDAs, namely the Zire 31 and Zire 72.

Of course, TrustedReviews was invited to the briefing to have a quick play with both PDAs and I was suitably impressed with the solid styling and aggressive pricing of the units.

At the budget end of PalmOne’s spring 2004 line-up, the Zire 31 represents a significant step up from the company’s older Zire 21 model.

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Sporting a 160 x 160 colour STN screen the Zire 31 also features a top-mounted memory expansion slot for SD, SDIO, and MMC cards plus a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. However, those planning to listen to music will need an expansion card and a pair of headphones to turn it into a real music-playing prospect.

Inside, the 200MHz Intel ARM-based processor sees a mark up from the Zire 21’s 126MHz Texas Instruments processor, whereas the internal memory has grown from eight to 16MB. 14MB is available for storage, but it won’t be long before that SD slot will come in handy.

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The Zire 31 still features two application buttons - one for the calendar and the other for contacts, although these now sit either side of a five-way navigation pad. PalmOne has also included more applications in the ROM along with an easier set-up aided by an interactive tour and tutorials.

At only 116g with dimensions of 112 x 74 x 16mm, the Zire 31 is relatively compact. The overall finish is rather attractive too with a two-tone porcelain-white and blue finish.

With a suggested retail price of £129 inc VAT, the Zire 31 is sure to capture the hearts of those on a tight budget or looking to buy their first PDA. That said, we will reserve judgement until we get our hands on a full production model.

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